Touring Arcata Plaza, Destination # 11

Union Hotel

761 8th St.

Built: 1876

Period: Victorian Architecture c. 1885-1900

This four lot building consists of three buildings, constructed at different times, but tied together into one facade and one use--the Union Hotel, established in 1884. The hotel dates back to the very earliest days of the town, when A. Jacoby and Alexander Pasksher ran a saloon and hotel on the westernmost lot of this parcel. After construction of an addition on the east in 1876, proprietor Jacob Richert ran the following advertisement in Eureka's Daily Standard:

"Having recently added a large and commodious addition to this popular hotel, the proprietor takes pleasure in informing his friends and patrons that he is now prepared to furnish first class accommodations to the traveling public ... apartments for the use of families have also been added. Friends and patrons may rest assured that nothing will be left undone for their comfort. The table will be supplied with the best the market affords and the bar with fine liquors and cigars. In connection with the hotel there is a fine hall for use of balls, parties, and entertainment of any description..."

In 1881 the original building was demolished and a new hotel built. Three years later the third section, "a fine, two story building" was erected on the east end and the three buildings became one.

Turn of the century photographs of the Union Hotel show a rather imposing building, extending 100 feet across the south side of the Plaza. It was a two story structure then (the upper story burned in 1936), and had a projecting cornice lined with brackets with each of the original sections marked with a roof pediment. Across the upper story stretched thirteen, eight pane windows, each covered by a bracketed hood. Corners were decorated with quoins and a narrow stringcourse separated upper and lower stories. The storefronts, which provided space for many businesses through the years, had large, multipane display windows, double doors with glass panels, rows of transom windows, and wood panels and mouldings around the openings.